|GREY HERON, NEW HYTHE|
2016 was an excellent year at New Hythe Lakes, which produced some very nice birds for the hardy few of us who devoted lots of sometimes fruitless hours to watching our local inland patch.
My own New Hythe year list finished at 111 species, a record year for me, which included five site ticks; Pied Flycatcher, Tawny Owl, a properly wild Whooper Swan and small flyover flocks of Brent and White-fronted geese. Other notables included Black Redstart, Red Kite, Ring-necked Parakeet, Wheatear, Goldeneye, Greenshank, Little Gull, Raven, Redstart, Stonechat, Whinchat and Bittern, an over wintering species which is becoming increasingly difficult to find at NH,
|DUNNOCK, NEW HYTHE|
|BITTERN, NEW HYTHE|
I was disappointed to miss what may turn out to be the New Hythe bird of the year, a ring-tail Hen Harrier, which made several appearances near the river in early January. Despite my best efforts though I didn't manage to see it. But I did manage to see a distant Bittern, pictured above, fishing along the ice fringed lake.
Another super tick came last Tuesday in the shape of the four Waxwings which have been visiting the west scrub for a few days. I watched them for an hour in very murky conditions as they alternated between feeding on the few remaining berries and drinking from a muddy puddle nearby. The list reached 64 species during January, anything could happen in February. Watch this space.
|WAXWINGS, NEW HYTHE|